Tin Pan Alley  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Tin Pan Alley is the name given to the collection of New York City music publishers and songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The name originally referred to a specific place: West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, and a plaque (see below) on the sidewalk on 28th Street between Broadway and Sixth commemorates it.

The start of Tin Pan Alley is usually dated to about 1885, when a number of music publishers set up shop in the same district of Manhattan. The end of Tin Pan Alley is less clear cut. Some date it to the start of the Great Depression in the 1930s when the phonograph and radio supplanted sheet music as the driving force of American popular music, while others consider Tin Pan Alley to have continued into the 1950s when earlier styles of American popular music were upstaged by the rise of rock & roll, for which the Brill Building served much the same role as Tin Pan Alley had.

The origins of the name "Tin Pan Alley" are unclear. One account claims that it was a derogatory reference to the sound of many pianos resembling the banging of tin pans. Another version claims the name stemmed from the way that songwriters modified their pianos so that they had a more percussive sound. After many years, the term came to refer to the U.S. music industry in general.

Contents

Composers and lyricists

Leading Tin Pan Alley composers and lyricists include:

Notable hit songs

Tin Pan Alley's biggest hits included:

In popular culture

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Tin Pan Alley" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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